Parish Council 27 July, 2009


Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 27th July 2009 at Vicarage Close Community Centre at 7.15pm.
Present: Cllrs. D. Mowatt (Chairman), V. Barrett, I. Bloomfield,  R. Gatward,
D. Hardingham,  M. Linnette, C. Purbrook, J. Robson, C. Stead and R. Wakerley
In attendance: The Clerk, C. Cllr. Susan van de Ven, Inspector Savage, Matthew Lane Sanderson and 3 members of the public
149/09      Apologies for absence: Cllrs. J. Guest, M. Sherwen and M. Townsend
At this point in the meeting Inspector Savage was invited to address the meeting.  He spoke about keeping the presence of the Police in the village and one of the ways to do this was to build or convert part of the building at the back of the college.  The favoured options would be to build a Police Office to use as a base for the other villages in the area; this has been endorsed by police senior management.
At the moment there are talks taking place with regard to rent & contracts and it is hoped this will develop into a real community venture.
Cllr. Purbrook asked if moving from the High Street will reduce Police availability.  Inspector Savage said it was hoped to create a much more integral site on the school site.  Cllr. Purbrook asked if the staffing would be increased and was told that this would not happen.
All Police would book on at Sawston and then come out to the other villages.
It was felt that a Police presence on the school site would allow a relationship to be built with the pupils.  The opening time of the office would be defined so that people will know when the Police are in the village.  The volunteers that man the office now would be welcome to carry on in the new office.
Inspector Savage then addressed the problems of anti-social behaviour in the High Street.  This is an on-going problem and the Inspector was keen to engage all parties in a very rounded debate, including neighbours and the Parish Council.  Problems are now spreading to Vicarage Close and the bottom of The Moor.
Inspector Savage said he had not felt the engagement has been there from the Parish Council.  Cllr. Hardingham asked why it was that he does not hear about these problems, he had thought the situation was getting better.
Cllr. Mowatt said that the Parish Council were in the process of taking over the car park so he was very surprised that Inspector Savage thought that the Parish Council was not involved.
Cllr. Purbrook would like to see the car park closed at night to discourage problems.  Cllr. Linnette was very much against this taking place. Cllr. Gatward thought there were problems with the whole of the High Street.
C. Cllr. van de Ven read out part of her report which dealt with problems reported to her in connection with the High Street.  C. Cllr. Van de Ven was asked to put together an agenda for the meeting of the Problem Solving Group to be held on 4th September at the Police Station.  This will then be circulated to all Councillors.
Cllr. Mowatt thought that as there were two or more Councillors attending the Problem Solving Meeting, the Police should not be saying that the Parish Council were not as interested in these matters as they could be.  Inspector Savage questioned whether it would be a problem to refresh the representatives on the Problem Solving Group.  Cllr. Mowatt replied that this would be for the Parish Council to discuss if there were to be changes.
[As the time was approaching 8.00pm the Chairman suspended Standing Orders to allow for public participation]
[The Chairman resumed Standing Orders at 8.35pm]
150/09      Declarations of Interest: Cllrs. Gatward and Robson declared a personal interest in Item 155/09
151/09 Minutes of the meeting held on 22nd June 2009:
It was proposed by Cllr. Gatward and seconded by Cllr. Hardingham that the minutes of 22nd June 2009 be signed as a true record.
152/09      Matters arising:
Item 70/09 (Matters Arising) Cllr. Gatward enquired if any further progress had been made towards a meeting.  Cllr. Barrett replied that there had been a meeting with Mrs. Trueman, who was going to sort out the accounts and then call a second meeting.  As yet this meeting had not taken place.
Item 73/09 (Planning Applications) Cllr. Gatward asked there had been the question of the matter of parking written on the return sheet to SCDC.  The Clerk replied that there was a planning application in the office which will be dealt with on Monday evening which covers this matter.
153/09      Minutes of the Planning Committee:
6th July: Cllr. Robson pointed out that Item 104/09 (Declaration of Interests) should show that Cllr. Linnette declared a personal interest in Item 110/09 (b) and not (c) as recorded
20th July: Cllr. Gatward enquired if a letter had been sent to Hundred Houses Society requesting a meeting.  Cllr. Mowatt is to take a direct approach and ask for an early meeting with Hundred Houses Society.
Item 146/09 (a) Cllr Purbrook noted that there had been a recommended approval given by the Parish Council for the changes to the inside of the building. What he wanted to know now was did this means the acceptance for the outside of the building.  The Clerk is to look out the plans to see if previous approval had been given for the building itself.
154/09      Financial Report as at 30th June:   Noted
155/09      Cheques to be signed:  See attached pdf file  Cheque list for July 09
The Clerk recommended the transfer of £18,800 from the Business No Notice Account to the Current Account
The Clerk recommended the transfer of Section 106 monies £71,584.80 from the No Notice account to the Business 14 Day Account1
It was proposed by Cllr. Purbrook that the cheques be approved and signed, seconded by Cllr. Stead and carried.
Cllrs. Gatward and Robson did not vote on this matter as they were both cheque recipients.
156/09 Co-option to the Council:
Applications had been received from Mr. Jose Hales and Mr. Alan Brett for co-option to the Parish Council.  Letters from both applicants had been circulated to all Councillors and it was Proposed by Cllr. Gatward and Seconded by Cllr. Barrett that Mr. Alan Brett and Mr. Jose Hales be co-opted to the Parish Council. This was Agreed to.  Mr. Brett and Mr. Hales signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and joined the meeting.
157/09      Correspondence:
(a) Letter from Royston and District Community Transport – enclosing balance sheet and financial account for 2008/2009. Noted.
(b) E-mail from Mrs Sage – Problems caused by bollards outside the Co-operative shop.  This had been dealt with under the addendum item.
(c) Letter and copy letter from Claire Hogan, Vice-Chairman of the St George’s Allotment Association.  Requesting information with regard to legal status of the allotments, public liability insurance cover plus request for a new notice board also a meeting with the Council.
The Clerk is to write supplying the information on the status of the allotments and the insurance cover.  She is to request that one or two representatives attend the Conservation meeting in September so that the notice board and other matters can be dealt with at this meeting.  The Clerk is also to make mention of the original letter which was sent but as far as she was concerned had not been received at the Parish Office.
Cllr. Hardingham has taken over the role of the Council’s spokesperson for the allotments and will report back any issues to the Council.
(d) CCC – Volunteers to support our communities through the current swine flu outbreak.
The Clerk is to write and say that the Council is happy to help in this matter.
(e) E-mail from C. Cllr van de Ven – Meeting to discuss the proposed Yellow lines on Station Road.  This meeting will be attended by Cllrs. Barrett and Wakerley.
(f) No further correspondence was received.
158/09      Report from County Cllr. Susan van de Ven
1. Cambridgeshire Transport Commission has reported back to County Council (July 21). The basic message is that the £540 million Transport Innovation Fund bid is the only pot of money of its kind and will not be around for long.  With the predicted rate of growth for the Cambridge area, congestion will inevitably evolve into gridlock, with a host of adverse effects.  The Commission’s recommendation is to make the bid but with the proviso that congestion charging not be implemented until public transport infrastructure has been in place for one year, and unless and until a certain level of congestion is reached.  County Council decision to be made in October.
2.‘Problem-solving group.’ Following the June PC meeting, I went back to speak with residents, CCC support officer Wendy Lansdowne, Inspector Savage, and those parish councillors who had attended the Problem Solving Group that met before I was elected, to ascertain what the problem was and how in my role as county councillor I could respond in a helpful manner.  There is a clear problem of what is officially termed ‘anti-social behaviour’ involving regular destructive activity and intimidation to properties and re on either side of and across the road from the High Street car park.  This has been reported on a regular basis to the police over a prolonged period of time.  I have also attended the July 21 Neighbourhood Police Panel, which was helpful in terms of understanding similar problems in neighbouring villages.  Bassingbourn has had a similar problem and this has been successfully alleviated.  Meldreth has had a similar problem with a proportionally similar number of complaints to the police.  Continuing efforts are being made by affected residents in both those villages to address the problem.  I have agreed as their local councillor to meet with residents of the High Street near the car park, in the form of a ‘problem solving group’, to address the problem they are experiencing in a focussed manner, with the understanding that we may not solve the problem but that we will try to mitigate it as much as possible. I have asked Inspector Savage and Wendy Lansdowne to attend this meeting.  Representation by the parish council is important, and equally the parish council must be kept abreast of progress by formal reports, which I am happy to be responsible for.  I have asked Cllrs Purbrook and Townsend if they would be prepared to continue attending such a group and they have agreed;  I have also asked Cllr Barrett if she would attend as district councillor.  I’ve suggested a date of September 4, 2PM, at the police station in Melbourn.  To note, evidence brought to the same Police Panel Meeting by Melbourn residents makes it clear that there are also problems of an anti-social nature in Vicarage Close and the bottom of The Moor.  I’ve raised this with Inspector Savage and we have had an initial email correspondence about seeking advice from the Crime and Disorder Partnership.
3. Prospective library/parish office/police community room. I was asked by the Parish Council to assist in its efforts to learn what possibilities might be available to it in terms of a location for a combination community room.  I have met with Inspector Savage, Hundred House Society Chief Executive Chris Jackson, Lesley Noblett County Council Libraries lead officer, MVC warden, and Library Access Point Chairman Cllr Robson and can report the following:
a.  The police are looking to relocate to MVC – Inspector Savage reporting at this meeting on the matter.

b. Hundred Houses Society:  As a not-for-profit housing association, HH’s responsibility is to its tenants, but in developing any new scheme it regards as fundamental the importance of working with the local parish council to achieve a scheme with the best chance of success from a community point of view.  There is definite interest in working together with the parish council to create a community room for use by village-based organisations on site, but financial cost for the room by the parish council would be required.  I would suggest, and Mr Jackson has agreed in principle, that he visit the parish council in the near future for him to explain directly what HH might envisage, time scales, and other practical details.   I’ve asked and he could make the September 28th parish council meeting, if you would care to invite him.
c. Lesley Noblett:  She concurred with the view that a High Street location offers a library the best chance of visibility and therefore community use.  However, village college locations can also be successful.  Fulbourn Library Access Point has recently opened with a very creative set-up in terms of shared premises and I would like to suggest a visit there with a parish council/library committee member to see for ourselves whether there are ideas there for us to replicate. CCC would offer at no cost the advice of its library architect to explore ideas for a combined community room and maximizing space.
d. MVC warden:  MVC would welcome a combined parish council/library room on site.  Having looked at the prospective new police premise at MVC, it is apparent that a parish office/library room could be added at a later date.
Summing up: I reported all of these conversations to our LAP chairman, Cllr Robson.  She suggested the possibility of moving forward with two options, which seems very sensible. A High Street location could be option 1, with the MVC site as a safe back-up option 2.  Once priority sites have been agreed by the parish council, I would recommend that the parish council accept Lesley Noblett’s offer of assistance by the library architecture officer.
4. Double yellow lines, Station Road. Last autumn, the parish council was given the go-ahead by Highways for double yellow lines in Station Road, provided it found the funding. The PC then took the initiative to contact Meldreth PC and full funding for the project by the two PCs was agreed.  This was followed by a prolonged period of inactivity and unresponsiveness by the Highways Department to queries by the parish council and Cllr Barrett as to when the work would take place.  Earlier this month when I asked David Lines for confirmation of when the work was due to be carried out, he explained that Highways did not in fact believe there was justification for the works, and he had never intended to give full approval for the scheme. I took the matter to the July 21 meeting of the County Council, focussing on the initiative of local people and parish councillors to try and solve a problem, only to be told ‘Sorry, it’s not happening’ months later by Highways officers.  I’ve now had an apology from the Executive Director for Highways for poor communication, which I’ve circulated via the clerk, and an offer to meet on site with Highways Officer Richard Preston as soon as possible.  He has explained his concern that putting down double yellow lines (and this at the parish councils’ expense) could lead inadvertently to other equally serious traffic problems, but recognizes that the two councils’ have been misled as to Highways intentions.  He would like to ensure that the double yellow lines wanted by the community work in the way desired.
5.  Other Highways matters:  I have had three complaints from residents regarding speeding at both ends of the High Street (both of these have been reported to the police) and traffic obstruction in front of the Coop (reported to PC).
6.  Rail service: CCC have agreed to ask for a meeting with First Capital Connect, to re-open dialogue on rail service issues local to us.  An earlier dialogue on student discount fares was abandoned when CCC made its rail officer post redundant.
[C. Cllr. van de Ven left the meeting at this point the time being 9.35pm]
159/09      Cemetery and Churchyard Inspection Record:
Cllr. Mowatt had inspected both cemeteries and felt that both left much to be desired.  The New Road Cemetery looked like a wilderness at the top end.  There were management issues with Orchard Road cemetery and a need for strimming work to be carried out.
160/09      New Road Cemetery:
The Ranger is to be asked to fit a push button tap onto the temporary hosepipe stand so fresh water will be available on site. He has also been asked to disconnect all the water troughs and empty out the stale water. In the future work will be carried out to remove the brick built water tanks completely and replace the hosepipe with a more permanent housing.
161/09      Further Developments to Village Car Park:
The Clerk is to write to Jenny Clark, Land Officer for SCDC informing her that items 1 to 5 of her letter are acceptable to the Council.  Item 6 however needs altering to read “The Parish Council has the right at any time during the lease to purchase the freehold at valuation”.
162/09      Update on BMX Trails:
Cllr.Hardingham reported that soil was being delivered to the site on Tuesday 28th of July.  The company Seearo Group Limited have given soil, equipment and manpower.  Peter Norbury of Norbury’s Building and Landscape Supplies has also donated soil, wheelbarrows and spades.  The Clerk will write to both companies to thank them for their very kind and generous acts. 10.00 tonnes of earth has been given free of charge.
Cllr. Hardingham thanked Cllr. Linnette for overseeing the work to make sure that health and safety issue are adhered to.
[As the time was approaching 10.00 it  was proposed by Cllr. Purbrook and seconded by Cllr. Wakerley that the meeting continue until 10.15]
163/09      ASB High Street Panel:
Next meeting to take place on 4th September.
164/09 Parish Plan:
Cllr. Robson reported on the progress so far.  Residents were encouraged to have their say at the Fete and at a following Workshop.  Comments have been received from 250 people so far.  A Website has been setup.  To start the committee it required12 people, so far 18 people have volunteered.  The first event is to be held on Wednesday at All Saints’ Community Hall and is a talk by Cambridge ACRE explaining just what a parish plan is and what it entails.
165/09 Neighbourhood Panel:
The next meeting is to be held in October at Melbourn Village College.
166/09 Cutting of the Hedges at Worcester Way Open Space:
167/09 Proposal to construct a pedestrian pathway to the Riverside Park car park:
This matter is to be dealt with by the Conservation Committee at the meeting in September.
168/09      Committees:
(a) Finance and General Purpose: Cllr. Gatward enquired of Cllr. Bloomfield if any progress had been made in respect of the installation of the One-on-One Basket Ball Court.  Cllr. Bloomfield replied that work was to start next day and expected to take around two weeks.
(b) Highways and Rural Footpaths: Item 119/09 Cllr. Barrett is to speak to C. Cllr. van de Ven with regard to the 30 mile signs at either end of the village and the article in the press with regard to the 20 miles per hour signs to be trialled in some villages.
(c) Conservation: There were no comments
[As the time was approaching 10.15 it was proposed by Cllr. Robson and seconded by Cllr. Hardingham the meeting continue till 10.30pm]
(d) Urgent reports from Committee Chairmen: There were no urgent reports.
169/09      Future Meetings.
(a) 3rd August – Planning
(b) 10th August – Play Areas, Recreation and Youth + Cemetery
(c) 17th August – Planning
(d) 24th August – Parish Council
(e) 31st August – Bank Holiday
170/09 Urgent Matters.
The Clerk had been in touch with the VAT Office with regard to the proposed work to the bowling green ditches.  She was informed that VAT cannot be claimed back by the Parish Council for this work.  The Clerk will inform the Bowling Club of this decision.
There being no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 10.20pm
Addendum to the Parish Council Meeting of the 27th July 2009
A member of the public addressed the meeting.  She thought that the parking situation outside the Co-operative Store on the High Street caused chaos at times.  Recently, she had been taking her son to the station and the road was completely grid-locked with parked vehicles and those trying to get past.  Children were trying to cross the road between vehicles, which were trying to turn round to get out of the chaos.  She felt this was a very dangerous situation, and that the bollards on the pavements caused some of the problem.  She had spoken to Mike Cooper of CCC with regard to rising bollard.  It seems that these would not be appropriate.
Cllr. Mowatt took the residents concerns very seriously and said that this area leaves a lot to be desired and sooner rather than later it was hoped that the Council could come up with a better option.  Hopefully the Parish Plan could help with this problem by offering some suggestions. Cllr. Robson said that as concerns were pin-pointed by the Parish Plan it was hoped that they could be worked on. Cllr. Hardingham thought it would help the situation if delivery times to the Co-op could be changed to miss peak times.
Cllr. Purbrook said that the bollards had been put in to stop cars being a danger to pedestrians.
Matthew Lane Sanderson addressed the meeting and spoke about his designs for the new cemetery gates.  He had developed into his design little icons like the one found on the Saxon burial site.
He had been in touch with local Funeral Directors and found that to accommodate horse drawn hearses the span over the gates would need to be three metres in height.
Matthew had also been in touch with Ann Taylor of Cambridge University Archaeological Department with the regards to the Saxon finds.  She had said that some of the craft artefacts had links with ancient Egypt.  Matthew had been invited to back to the University and give lessons to students on how to make tools and there uses.  Ann is really keen to be involved in making a display for the University, of the work on the gates as it progresses.
When asked how long the surface finish of the gates would last, Matthew’s answer was 85 years.
Matthew was thanked for his attendance.

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